|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2011-06-22                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
June 22, 2011
Opportunities abound for women seeking wilderness adventure
From pink fishing vests to camo print press-on fingernail decals, mainstream outdoor culture is opening up to the ladies. Most gear now comes with a line especially tailored for women, but if your backpack is full and your knowledge base is empty, chances are you may never unroll that new sleeping bag under the stars.
Texas Parks and Wildlife recognizes that many women wanting to explore the outdoors may not have the skills and experience to feel confident in doing so. To address this, the department created the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program in 1993. The program, now in its 18th year, has seen over 15,000 participants and offers workshops for complete beginners to moderate experts in the areas of archery, fishing and boating, shooting and hunting, camping, kayaking, bird's nest box building and other activities.
The goal of the BOW program is to afford women the opportunity to learn outdoor skills in a comfortable, nonthreatening and supportive atmosphere. Workshops are held over weekends throughout the state. Participants may take multiple classes at each workshop and are encouraged to try their hand at new skills.
"My first BOW was such a success," wrote Graciela Pratt through the BOW Facebook page.
"The quality of instruction and all the workshops were of the very highest quality. I felt I learned a vast amount of information about shooting firearms which was my goal for the weekend. I really enjoyed the meeting other ladies from across the state. I also enjoyed the 'owl calling'. It was great fun and I was glad I was able to attend," she wrote.
To request more information and a registration packet for the fall BOW event at Camp Allen in Navasota Sept. 16-18, visit the BOW workshop information request page.
Women who cannot attend a BOW workshop or who attended and want to continue practicing their new skills may join a Texas Outdoors-Woman Network in their area. The Network was created by former BOW participants for women in their communities. TOWN groups hold monthly meetings and meet ups for women looking for camaraderie in their outdoor pursuits.
One TOWN group out of Rockport sponsors its own event geared toward teaching outdoor basics called Women in the Wild. The event was created by TPWD game warden Brandi Reeder in 2009 with many of the same intentions as the BOW workshops. Through Women in the Wild, participants learn fly-fishing, kayaking, outdoor photography, game processing, skeet shooting and more. The classes are taught by game wardens and other experts in their fields. For example, the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society was on hand to give lessons in outdoor cooking, as well as fishing guides to demonstrate the perfect cast.
"As a mother, I know you would never let your kids get away without trying something at least once, and we need to apply that to ourselves," said Reeder.
"I tell ladies to just get yourself out there, ignore everything and give it a try. The program offers you a chance not to worry about embarrassment or failure; it's just an opportunity to try this stuff on and who knows, you might just come out liking something new," she said.
Reeder's Women in the Wild program has seen 158 women in its three years and plans to expand its programs for its next event. The program is tentatively set for April of next year.
For more information on BOW, TOWN, or Women in the Wild events, visit the TPWD site for BOW at tpwd.texas.gov/learning/bow/.
On the Net:
BOW: http://tpwd.texas.gov/learning/bow/
TOWN: http://tpwd.texas.gov/learning/bow/town.phtml
Rockport TOWN: http://www.townrockport.org/
BOW Information Request: http://tpwd.texas.gov/learning/bow/form.phtml

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[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
June 22, 2011
Master Naturalist Program Offers Fall Classes for Volunteers
AUSTIN - Thirteen chapters of the Texas Master Naturalist program will hold fall courses to train natural resource conservation volunteers across the state.
The program's 42 chapters aim to develop a corps of well-informed citizen volunteers who educate communities in the management of natural resources. Interested applicants to the program need only an interest in learning and playing and active part in conservation. Volunteers receive around 40 hours of training from educators and specialist from universities, agencies, nature centers and museums. Training topics include interpretation and management of natural resources, ecological concepts, eco-regions of Texas and natural systems management.
Volunteers are expected to give 40 hours of service a year as a Master Naturalist in community education, demonstration and habitat enhancement projects. Master Naturalists also pursue a minimum of eight hours a year in advanced training in areas of their choice.
The next training session through the program begins this fall. Chapters offering fall courses are listed below. Some chapter registration deadlines may have passed. Applicants are advised to contact their chapter of interest for availability.
--Abilene -- Big Country Chapter. Class begins on August 18 and registration is due by August 1. For more details call 325-672-6048 or email r-pritz@tamu.edu
--College Station -- Brazos Valley Chapter. Plan to start class with this chapter on September 6. Your registration is needed no later than August 30. Contact 979-324-6654 or bavermeire@suddenlink.net
--Corpus Christi -- South Texas Chapter. Registration is due at the first class on September 10. Details are available by contacting se74ab@yahoo.com or call 361-813-3819.
--Denton -- Elm Fork Chapter. Training begins on September 6 and registration is needed by August 19. For details contact: 940-349-2883 or velliott2105@msn.com
--Fort Worth -- Cross Timbers Chapter. Meet at the Fort Worth Nature Center for the first class on August 30. More information is available by contacting gbason@hotmail.com or call 817-838-7321.
--Houston -- Gulf Coast Chapter. Your registration is needed by August 15 to join the class that starts on August 27. Call 713-721-7773 or email pgcook@gmail.com
--Kerrville -- Hill Country Chapter. Class begins on August 24 and the registration deadline is July 15. Contact kcoffer@texas-wildlife.org or call 830-792-3070.
--Midland -- Llano Estacado Chapter. Training information is available by contacting Sammy.hunnicutt@calenergyl.com
--New Braunfels -- Lindheimer Chapter. Training begins on November 1 and your registration is due by October 1. More information is available by contacting mbrendsel@hotmail.com or call 830-226-7035.
--Rosenberg--Coastal Prairie Chapter. Class will assemble on September 10 and your registration is due by September 1. More information about the chapter can be found by calling 281-239-2424 or email: thancolvin@comcast.net
--San Antonio -- Alamo Area Chapter. The starting date for the next class of the original Texas Master Naturalist chapter is September 8 and your registration is needed by August 24. Details are available by email at pball12@satx.rr.com
--San Benito -- Rio Grande Valley Chapter. Registration is due by January 4, 2012 for the class that will begin on January 11. For details contact rgvctmneduchair@gmail.com
--Waxahachie -- Indian Trail Chapter. August 15 is the registration deadline for the class that begins on September 8. More details are available at pcgrindstaff@sbcglobal.net or call 972-291-2868.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas AgriLife Extension co-sponsor the Texas Master Naturalist Program statewide. For more information about existing chapters or forming a new chapter contact Sonny Arnold, Assistant Program Coordinator, 111Nagle Hall, 2258, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2258, call (979)458-1099 or email: sarnold@ag.tamu.edu.
On the Net:
Texas Master Naturalist Program: http://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/land/programs/txmasnat/

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Jim Cross (316) 269-6481 ]
June 22, 2011
Texas Man Sentenced to Jail in Connection with Kansas Deer Hunting and Guiding Operation
WICHITA, KAN. - A Texas man was sentenced June 21 in federal court in Wichita on felony charges of conspiracy, wildlife trafficking and obstruction of justice related to the illegal sale of guided deer hunts in southern Kansas, announced Barry Grissom, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, and Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
James Bobby Butler, Jr., 42, of Martinsville, Tex., was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison. Butler pleaded guilty in March 2010 to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, one Lacey Act interstate trafficking count and one count of obstruction of justice. His brother, Marlin Jackson Butler, 36, also of Martinsville, pleaded guilty in March 2011 to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and one Lacey Act count. Marlin Butler is scheduled to be sentenced on June 24, 2011.
"Illegal wildlife trafficking is a threat to the natural resources of Kansas," Grissom said. "Our goal is to preserve and protect wildlife for everyone to enjoy - including hunters who abide by the law."
"Thanks to outstanding cooperation between federal and state law enforcement agents and prosecutors, we put an end to a criminal conspiracy that took valuable and limited wildlife resources through unlawful and unethical means," said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. "This prosecution sends a message to hunters and guides in Kansas and elsewhere that there will be serious consequences for those who seek to profit by violating state and federal wildlife laws, especially at the expense of those who hunt and guide lawfully."
The Lacey Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or possessed in violation of state law or regulation. According to court documents filed in the case, James and Marlin Butler conspired together to knowingly transport and sell in interstate commerce deer that had been hunted in violation of Kansas state law. In particular, the brothers operated a guiding service and hunting camp near Coldwater, Kan., at which they sold guiding services to out-of-state hunters for the purpose of illegally hunting and killing white-tailed deer and mule deer. Hunters guided by the Butler brothers killed deer in excess of annual bag limits, hunted deer without permits or with permits for the wrong deer management unit, killed deer using illegal equipment, and hunted using prohibited methods such as spotlighting. The guided hunts were sold for between $2,500 and $5,500, and in several instances resulted in the killing of trophy-sized buck deer. In addition to selling guiding services, the brothers also arranged for transport of the deer, in particular the antlers and capes, from Kansas to Texas and Louisiana.
James Butler also pleaded guilty to instructing another person to conceal or destroy evidence during the investigation.
"This is the largest case in the history of wildlife law enforcement in Kansas," said Steve Oberholtzer, special agent in charge, Mountain-Prairie Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Trophy deer are an important resource for the state of Kansas from both wildlife and economic standpoints. Joint investigations such as this one demonstrate that the combined efforts of state and federal agencies and our federal prosecutors result in prosecutions that hold those who violate the law accountable. We are grateful to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the U.S. Attorney's Office for their assistance in this case and hope that it will serve as a deterrent to others who might consider exploiting our nation's wildlife for personal gain."
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and jointly prosecuted by District of Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom's office and the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Crimes Section.

[ Note: This item is more than six years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Mallory Beck, (919) 531-0400, Mallory.Beck@octagon.com ]
June 22, 2011
Toyota Texas Bass Classic Field Takes Shape
ATHENS--We're into the final stretch for anglers to qualify for this year's Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Conroe October 28--30, and it's going to be a showdown on all three tours.
This month has three major tournaments on the three tours that send pros to the annual TTBC: the Professional Anglers Association Tournament Series, the Bassmaster Elite Series and the Walmart FLW Tour. It's getting to be crunch time!
Before we take a look at the tours and current standings, let's look at the TTBC and qualification process. The event is set this year the final week of October on Lake Conroe northwest of Houston. It is the only unification event in professional bass fishing and brings together 50 of the best anglers from the PAA, B.A.S.S. and FLW circuits.
The tournament is the world championship of professional bass fishing. No other tournament combines the top pros from the top circuits. After the PAA, B.A.S.S. and FLW tour-level seasons are over, the top 15 anglers in each league's point standings receive invitations to compete. If invitations are declined or there are double-qualifiers--many B.A.S.S. and FLW pros compete in the PAA events--the positions will be filled until 45 anglers are confirmed. The defending champion, Brian Snowden of Missouri, receives an automatic invitation, and four other anglers are invited through special TTBC exemptions.
These 50 pros compete for two full days before the field is cut to the top 10 for the final day. This format ensures high-caliber competition with every pro working hard to make it to the final day, and then a final-day shootout for the TTBC world championship title.
Stretch run
Going into the final events of the three leagues' seasons, the point standings chases are tight with just a few tournaments remaining to determine Angler of the Year titles and TTBC qualification.
The Bassmaster Elite Series wrapped up its season on Wheeler Lake in north Alabama on June 20 and was the first to establish its final points list.
The Walmart FLW Tour just completed a slamfest at Kentucky Lake, which meant bass out on deep ledges. FLW had to reschedule an event from earlier in the year due to weather and will wrap up its season in mid-July on Pickwick Lake in Alabama. That will be an incredible tournament. So there's still some shuffling to come in the FLW points chase.
Also this month, the PAA Tournament Series is on Table Rock Lake in Missouri for its second event of the year. Its opener was in late March and, with scheduling amenable to the pros so they don't overlap with the Elite and FLW seasons, the second event and the final tournament in August on Neely Henry Lake in Alabama, give the anglers two final opportunities in summer to qualify for the TTBC.
Point Standings
Here's a look at the current point standings, in order from 1-15, in each league, with the top 15 and "bubble" (15-25) pros listed. Anglers on the bubble, in 15th-25th places, could move into qualifying contention in the next two tournaments in each league.
The Bassmaster Elite Series season wrapped up June 20 on Wheeler Lake in Alabama, so the top 15 pros are set in that league. Depending on who accepts their invitations, the names listed below are those who automatically receive invitations to the TTBC.
--Elite Series: Kevin VanDam, Edwin Evers, Gerald Swindle, Ott Defoe, Steve Kennedy, Terry Scroggins, Casey Ashley, Davy Hite, Alton Jones, Keith Poche, Greg Vinson, Chris Lane, Randy Howell, Dean Rojas and Keith Combs
--FLW Tour: Brent Ehrler, Tom Monsoor, Mark Rose, Jason Christie, Stacey King, Wes Strader, Andy Morgan, Mike Reynolds, Bryan Thrift, Scott Martin, Darrell Robertson, Stetson Blaylock, Dave Lefebre and Jay Yelas
--Bubble pros: Shin Fukae, Shad Schenck, Rob Kilby, Koby Kreiger, Luke Clausen, Mike Auten, Cody Meyer, Brett Hite, Cody Bird, Terry Bolton
--PAA Tournament Series: Paul Marks, Derek Remitz, Todd Auten, Aaron Martens, Tom Mann Jr., John Murray, David Hendrick, Nick Larson, Takahiro Omori, Doc Seger, Shin Fukae, Chris Brasher, Tommy Biffle, Troy Morrow and Brett Hite
--Bubble pros: Douglas Jones, Lance Vick, Mike McClelland, Cody Bird, Kevin Hawk, Gary Clouse, Rusty Saleswke, Jared Lintner, David Smith and Joey Nania.
A minimum of $250,000 from the event will go toward a donation to benefit Texas Parks and Wildlife Department programs. In the past four years the Toyota Texas Bass Classic has provided $1 million to help fund TPWD programs like the Neighborhood Fishin' Program, the Texas State-Fish Art Contest and other youth and urban fishing and outreach efforts.
For more information visit http://toyotatexasbassclassic.com/.